sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Chicago-Mackinac Race—The New Old Fashioned Way

Chicago-Mackinac Race—The New Old Fashioned Way

'Thirsty Tiger racing in the 103rd Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot'    Event Media    Click Here to view large photo



The Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot—Believe it or not, there was a day—not so long ago—when the Internet did not rule people’s lives.

True, information moved slower, but the pace of life was also a bit slower then as well (example: horses, not cars). For distance-racing sailors, this offered a beautiful respite from life ashore. The problem, of course, was that family and friends couldn’t track their loved ones as they raced to Mackinac Island.

Flash forward to 2011: The Internet rules the airwaves and distance racers have nowhere to hide, thanks to the magical little boxes that upload all sorts of germane information to satellites, which in turn update race-tracking web pages. Problem solved…mostly. As anyone who has ever stepped foot aboard a racing sailboat knows, electronics work great until they stop working.

Due to technical troubles, the race-tracking system for the 103rd Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot, stopped working some ten hours into this 333-mile classic race, presenting a 'new-old problem': How to determine where boats are, and how far they are from the finishing line.

According to Helle Getz, a Race Committee volunteer who has served on he Chicago-Mac RC for 39 races, the Chicago Yacht Club (CYC) got creative. Since boats didn’t have accurate lat/long capabilities back then (think radio-direction finders, not GPS), the CYC created a hypothetical grid over the racecourse (e.g., the X axis was lettered A through I and the Y axis 0 through 31); boats were required to radio in their position twice a day, ideally when they passed certain well-known way points (e.g., an island or a particular point). A navigator, says Getz, might call in a report advising that they had reached 'J-27' (much like the notation used in chess), thus allowing the RC to know, roughly, when to expect finishers.

Interestingly, Getz also told a fine tale of Bernie Wiczer, a prominent club member who owned a plane. Back in the day, Wiczer would take to the friendly skies with a spotter who would ride shotgun, a camera slung around his or her neck. The pair would snap images of the fleet and their position relative to the chessboard. Then, according to Getz, Wiczer and company would fly back over Mackinac Island and drop the film in a weighted bag onto the beach, right in front of RC. Some quick developing would take place, and the information would be made public.

Jumping back to 2011, the RC is reverting back to 'new-old ways' of solving the information void for a public used to up-to-the-minute updates pushed to their smartphones. The RC has dispatched a monitoring vessel to Grey’s Reef Lighthouse, which is situated some 33 miles from the finishing line, with the goal of phoning in sail numbers as the boats pass by. Also, raceboats are calling in their positions, but—being 2011—the chessboard has been replaced by GPS coordinates. All information is being uploaded to the race’s Facebook page—check there for the latest info.

So while the tracking system has failed, expect up-to-the-minute racecourse reports from the Sail-World.com team, as well as other engaging media, images and interviews, as the on-the-water drama plays out.

The flow of information might be slower this year than in times passed, this is certainly not stopping the sailors from enjoying a wonderful race. Given that Mackinac Island is a place where horse-drawn carts and bicycles—not cars—are the ticket around town, a slightly slower information flow seems fitting, given the atmosphere of this beautiful place.

For more information on the Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac, please visit www.cycracetomackinac.com




by David Schmidt

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=86057

6:23 PM Sun 17 Jul 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2011 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


Related News Stories:

11 Nov 2011  Trophies and honors bestowed at CYC Race to Mackinac Awards Dinner
11 Nov 2011  Mackinac boat Sociable honored with Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal
30 Oct 2011  US Sailing releases independent study concerning CYC Race to Mackinac
11 Oct 2011  Chicago Mackinac Race – The first report
02 Sep 2011  Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac scoring - Final results posted
30 Jul 2011  Chicago Yacht Club asks US SAILING to review Mackinac 2011
29 Jul 2011  Chicago Mackinac 20111 - Jugband - the race of a lifetime
27 Jul 2011  First Goat wins 2011 Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Division
20 Jul 2011  Chicago-Mackinac Race—100 Knots and Off the Clock
20 Jul 2011  Press Conference with Chicago Yacht Club's Greg Freeman
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World





































Soling North American Championship concludes on Lake Erie by Canadian International Soling Association,






























Outteridge and Jensen – What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott wins Gold
Santander Worlds - 49ers Burling and Tuke clear ahead
ISAF Sailing Worlds – Live broadcast - Medal races
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5
WMRT Chicago Match Cup 2014 – GAC Pindar through to the semi-finals
Bart’s Bash 2014 at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Victoria Harbour
Bart's Bash: First event in at Wakatere in New Zealand
ISAF Sailing Worlds Santander 2014 - AUS Laser and 470 Medals + video
2014 Patriot Regatta - U.S. Coast Guard team wins
2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 9 highlights
2014 Etchells North American Championship – Day 2
Chicago Match Cup - Top four tour teams tackle tomorrow in semi-finals
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 49er and Nacra 17 world titles claimed
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Caleb Paine through to Finn medal race + video
ISAF Worlds - 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17 Rio 2016 spots taken
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Women's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Scott all set to lift Finn world title
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Men's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Aussies and Austrians claim 470 gold   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 470 awards images by Sail-World.com   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - 470 medal race images by Jesus Renedo   
Annapolis-to-Newport Race - 'What to Expect' Seminar to take place   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - No racing on penultimate day   
Belcher takes record fifth 470 World Championship   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights   
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off   
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1   
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight   
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight   
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander - Double French RS:X gold   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sailing Energy   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT